Entering the 2014 season with several unproven players, just how competitive the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls tennis team would be was unclear.
After the Panthers narrowly lost two home matches against Delta High School however, it appears that the team will be a viable.
Panthers narrowly lose opener
Playing under a warm sun and clear skies, the Panthers narrowly lost their opening match to Delta, losing 4-3 overall.
Competing at No. 1 singles for the Panthers, senior Tara Abrams lost to Delta’s Emily Kuta in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
In the No. 2 singles match, Panthers’ sophomore Rachel Lucero suffered a similar fate, losing an extremely competitive match to Delta’s Madison Farmer, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
At No. 3 singles, Panthers’ sophomore Kearra Boggs picked up an impressive victory, besting Delta’s Isabel Portillo 6-3, 2-6, 12-10.
“We don’t know how good Kearra is going to be,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood. “I think we’re going to see a lot of really good tennis from her throughout the year.”
Also picking up a victory for the Panthers was the No. 1 doubles team of Jaci Veach and Skye Cole, who defeated Hattie Bohling and Uyen Nguyen, 6-1, 6-0.
At No. 2 doubles, the Panthers’ duo of Tori Calliham and Laurel Chappell lost to Delta’s Rosa Gomez, 6-2, 6-4.
Playing perhaps the most exciting match of the day, the Panthers’ team of Kyra Kingery and Paige Bailey defeated Tyle Redden and Alexia Rascon, 6-4, 3-6, 14-12.
“We’re pretty good friends, we work well together and we have a lot of fun,” said Bailey after the match.
Rounding out the Panthers’ lineup, Natasha Gordon and Angel Veach were defeated by Delta’s Naomi Baltazar and Cassidy Parker, 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 4 doubles match.
Panthers lose second match
Playing first-to-eight pro sets in the second match of the day, the Panthers fell to Delta for the second consecutive time, 4-3.
At No. 1 singles, Abrams was again defeated, yet at No. 2 singles, Lucero avenged her early-day loss, winning 8-4.
At No. 3 singles, Boggs was defeated 8-4, while at No. 1 doubles, Jaci Veach and Cole won 8-6.
In the No. 2 doubles match, Chappell and Calliham won 8-6, in the No. 3 doubles match Bailey and Kingery lost 8-4 and in the No. 4 doubles match, Angel Veach and Gordon lost 8-3.
Next up for the Panthers will be an April 4 road match against Fruita Monument.